Yes, there is a very important starting-point, which
is to pronounce the Shahaadatayn (Declaration of Faith). This is the
only answer to your question. (For more details please see the
questions and answers under the heading: ‘Aqeedah (basic tenets of faith)
– important matters for those who wish to enter Islam.
We extend the warmest of welcomes to you,
and offer our congratulations for the new direction you are about to
take. May Allaah protect you from all evil.
All praises be to Allah, the Lord of the
Universe. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, His
The objective of this handout is to correct a false
idea spread among those willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some
people face difficulties on the basis of their mistaken belief that
entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned
person in the presence of high ranking scholars or sheikhs, or reporting
this act to the courts or other authorities. It is also thought that
the act of accepting Islam, should, as a condition, have a certificate
issued by the authorities as evidence to that effect.
We wish to clarify that the whole matter is very
easy and that none of the above conditions or obligations are required.
For Allah, the Almighty is above all comprehension and knows well the
secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless, those who wish to adopt Islam as
their religion are advised to register themselves as Muslims with the
concerned governmental agency, as this procedure may facilitate many
matters for them including the possibility of performing Hajj and Umrah.
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has
the full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion
ordained by Allah (SWT) for all human beings, he should pronounce the
"Shahada" (testimony of faith) without further delay. The
Holy Qur'an is explicit in this regard, as Allah (SWT) has stated.
"Truly, the Religion in the sight of Allah is
In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Allah (SWT)
"And whosoever desires a religion -other that
Islam, never will it be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will
be in the ranks of those who are lost." (3:85)
In addition, Islam is the only Religion prevailing
over all other religions, Allah (SWT) has stated in the Holy Qur'an:
"And to thee We have sent the Book in truth,
(This Qur'an) confirming the scripture that came before it, and a witness
over it..." (5:48)
Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah (Peace and blessing
of Allah be upon him), said:
"Islam is based on five pillars: testifying
that there is no god worthy to be worshipped but Allah, that Muhammad
is the messenger of Allah and His servant; performing the prayer; paying
the Zakat (obligatory charity); fasting the month of Ramadan; and performing
The Shahada can be declared as follows:
"ASH-HADU ANLAA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH WA ASH HADUANNAMUHAMMADANABDUHUWA
The English translation is:
"I bear witness that there is no deity worthy
to be worshipped but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His
servant and messenger."
However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to
utter only this testimony orally either in private or in public. One
should believe in it from the heart with a firm conviction and unshakable
faith. If he is truly sincere and complies with the teachings of Islam
in his daily life he will find himself a newborn person.
This will move him to strive more and more to improve
his character and draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living
faith will fill his heart until he becomes the embodiment of that faith.
What should be next after declaring the testimony
of faith (Shahada) and then becoming a Muslim? He should know the real
concept underlying this testimony, which means accepting the Oneness
of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as the last of the Prophets,
and meeting its requirements. He must behave accordingly applying this
true faith to everything he says or does. What do the words of "Shahada"
The significant point which every Muslim must know
is the truth that there is no god to be worshipped other than Allah,
(Glory be to Him). He is the only true God, Who Alone deserves to be
worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher
of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship
Allah, Who Alone is worthy of worship.
The second part of the "Shahada" i.e. "Wa
ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh" means that the Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one
should be in any doubt about this matter. In fact, the Muslim has to
obey the commands of the Prophet (PBUH), to believe in what he has said,
to follow his Teachings, to avoid what he has forbidden, and to worship
A11ah alone according to the message revealed to him.
What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering
sincere service; showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning,
it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah's Commandments
both in utterances and actions, whether explicit or implicit and in
private or public.
Worship falls into two categories:
1. Visible (manifest or outward) 2. Invisible (concealed
Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the
two parts of the "shahada", performing prayers, giving Zakat
(obligatory charity), observing the fast in the month of Ramadan, performing
Hajj, recitation of the Holy Qur'an, supplication, adoring Allah by
praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.
This type of worship is associated with the movement
of the parts of human body, [actions].
Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the
Day of Judgment, in the Hereafter, in the Angels, in the Books of Allah,
in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by
This type of worship does not involve movements of parts of the
body but it surely has a bearing on one's heart which, subsequently,
affects one's way of life (beliefs).
It should be borne in mind that worship not dedicated
to Allah alone, will be rejected as one form of polytheism or "shirk",
which amounts to apostasy, from the Islamic point of view.
The next step for a devotee newly converted to Islam
is to purify himself by taking a bath (total ablution). He should then
resolve to comply with all the principles and rules of Islam in their
entirety. He disowns all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should
reject evil and be righteous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous
is one of the requisites of the motto of Islam that is, Lailaha Illal
Allah has stated in the Holy Qur'an:
"... whoever disbelieves in false deities and
believes in Allah, hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold, that
will never break..." (2:256)
We have to consider that when we declare from our
hearts, "there is no god worthy to be worshipped but Allah."
It implies on our part of love, devotion, faith and obedience to the
rules of Islamic legislation which are legally binding on all Muslims.
It is a requirement of "there is no god worthy to be worshipped
but Allah," to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the
sake of Allah. This is the finest anchor of belief which make material
the meaning of "AL-WALA" and "AL-BARA". It means
that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should,
as a practice, dissociate himself completely from the practices of unbelievers
and refuse to be influenced by them, both in worldly and religious matters.
We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that He
may cleanse the hearts and souls of those who are genuine seekers of
truth and may He bless the community of believers. Ameen.